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How to use Gransnet

how to use gransnet

Welcome to our Gransnet forums, the home of Gransnet's discussions. In these difficult times, whether you are self-isolating or just looking for friendly chat as a distraction from the constant bad news, having an online community available at all hours of the day and night has never been more important. Gransnet users are always ready to offer support, conversation and (virtual) company, so we have put together this simple guide to getting started for anyone who is new to the site. Again, a warm welcome. And once you've finished reading, simply click here to return to the conversation.

 How forums are organised | How do I join? | How do I log in? | How do I post? | What are the rules? | How do you post smileys and links? | How do I post a photo? | Can I change the way I view discussion threads? | How do I search the forums? | What do all those acronyms mean? | How do I subscribe to the newsletter? What if I get stuck?

How forums are organised

Gransnet forums are divided into a range of topics, such as Chat, Relationships, News and politics, Grandparenting and many more. You can see the full range on our list of forum topics here.

In each topic you will find various conversations, or 'threads'. Click once on the title to read the whole discussion. 

You can also look at a list of our active conversations on Gransnet by clicking the "Active" button on the forums page, under the "Gransnet forums" heading. This is a good way to get a flavour of the range of issues gransnetters are talking about, as the threads with the most recent posts are shown here.

Anyone with web access can read the forum discussions on Gransnet. But to add messages (or posts) to existing discussions and create new discussions, you need to sign up as a Gransnet member. Not sure how to do this? Read on to find out how to become a Gransnet member today...

How do I join?

To post on the forums, you need to sign up to Gransnet. It's free and easy to sign up - you can do so either by clicking on the yellow 'Join Gransnet' button, displayed in the top right-hand corner of any page on site, or by using this link here: https://www.gransnet.com/registerYou'll then be taken through to our registration page, which looks like this: 

how to register on gransnet

To register with Gransnet, you need to provide your email address, a password (which needs to be a minimum of 8 characters and contain at least one number or symbol) and choose a username.

Your username is the name that your posts and messages will appear to come from on the site. We encourage you not to use your real name or anything identifying, as the beauty of Gransnet is that it's anonymous. If you're struggling to think of a username, try combining your favourite colour, hobbies, pet's name or favourite food. 

Once you're happy with that, click the yellow 'Sign me up' button. You'll then receive an email asking you to confirm your email address for security purposes.  


How do I log in?

To log in to your Gransnet account, you need to go to our log in page, which you can find here or by clicking on the yellow 'Sign in' button on the top left-hand side of any page on site when you are logged out (it's next to the 'Join Gransnet' button). 

how to sign in to gransnet

You'll then need to enter your email address and password in the boxes shown above in the image of the log in page. If you've forgotten your password and need to reset it, you'll find a 'forgotten password' link under the password box.  

If you want to remain logged into your Gransnet account so you don't have to sign in every time you access the site, we'd recommend making sure the 'Keep me logged in' box is ticked.

When you've entered your details and are ready, click the 'Log in' button.


How do I post?

To post a message to an existing discussion, click on the Add comment link over the title or above any post. This will take you down to the bottom of the discussion to an Add your message here box. Type your wise words into the box. Please note, you need to be logged in first to post on the forums.

Here are a few tips for making your first post:

  • Avoid writing a post USING ALL CAPITALS, or people may think you're shouting.
  • Use paragraphs.
  • Remember that anyone, anywhere, can Google everything posted, so it's not a good idea to post identifying info or email addresses.
  • Don't be frightened to ask how things are done. Other gransnetters will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

If you want to see how your message will look before it goes on the board, click the Preview message button (then correct the message if you need to). To post your message right away (or after you’ve read the preview), click the Post message button.

To start a discussion of your own, find yourself the most appropriate topic on the topic list, click to get in, then click on Start a new discussion. Write your thoughts in the box and give your thread a title. The title will tell people at a glance what you want to talk about. Being specific will help to attract other people with the same interest. When you're happy click 'Create conversation' to start your thread. 

Links and "Smileys"

We have our own set of smileys or emoticons, plus a set of shortcuts to allow you to bold or italicise words or even cross them out (for comic effect). To find them - with instructions on how to put them into your posts – look underneath the Add your message here box.


How do I post a photo? 

It's really easy to upload a photo to a thread - just be aware that Gransnet is anonymous so it's best not to post any photos that could be too identifying.

Whether you are starting a new thread or posting on an existing one, under the box where you type your message, you will find an option that says 'Images:'. Next to this are three 'Choose file' buttons. Simply click on one of the buttons, select the file you would like to upload from your computer, and then it'll be added to the post. If you change your mind, you can delete the file by clicking on the 'Remove image' text. 

As with any post, you can click 'Preview message', so you can see what your post with photos will look like before you publish on site, and make any changes you want. When you are happy to post, click 'Post message'. 


What are the rules?

When writing your messages, please use the same courtesy you'd show when speaking face-to-face with someone.

Our policy is to keep intervention to a minimum (we are a post moderated site so rely on users to report posts that are unacceptable) and let the conversation flow. Having said that, we will remove postings that are obscene, contain personal attacks, aren't in the spirit of the site or break the law. For more on this, see our Netiquette page

Can I change the way I view discussion threads?

You can see the most recent posts first by clicking the 'flip' button, and see the entire thread on one page by clicking "see all." You can permanently change these options by clicking on 'customise' in the green bar at the top of every thread.

If there's a specific post in a thread you'd like to come back to later, hover over it until you see the blue "Bookmark" box. Click that, and when you return to the thread, you'll be taken straight to the post.

How do I search the forums?

You can search Gransnet forums in lots of different ways:

  • Active: you'll find them at the top right of every page – these are the threads that have most recently been posted on.
  • Search forums: allows you to search by keyword. You can find the search bar at the top of every Gransnet page, next to the yellow 'Inbox' or 'Sign in' buttons (depending if you are logged in or not.) 

There is also a line of handy links on every page under the Gransnet Forums headline:

  • Active: Organises the threads by how recently gransnetters have been on them.
  • I'm on: A list of the threads that you have posted on.
  • Watching: Threads you've elected to watch (by clicking the green button on the top right of the discussion)
  • Unanswered: A list of threads that only have an opening post. Feel free to respond if you can!
  • Last hour: Organised by activity in the last hour.
  • Last day: Organised by activity in the last day.

What do all those acronyms mean?

You might have noticed that our forums are peppered with references to DiLs, DHs and AIBUs, along with many more nifty acronyms. If you're wondering what it all means, you can read our guide here


How do I subscribe to the Gransnet newsletter?

Our popular daily newsletter is a welcome addition to your inbox in the morning. Each day we'll send you a round-up of our top threads from the forums, plus loads of useful content covering everything from fashion to food, grandparenting to gardening.

To subscribe, make sure you are logged into your Gransnet account, and then visit the My Gransnet section of the site (you can find a link to this at the bottom of any page in the purple footer). Then click on the 'Newsletters' tab. You can then update your preferences and click 'All done', when you are happy with your subscriptions.

What if I'm still stuck?

If you experience any difficulties, do email us at [email protected] or post a message in Site stuff (where other members may be able to help you out if we're not around).

sign up to gransnet 










Images: Shutterstock